hot button

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See also: hot-button


Alternative forms[edit]


(This etymology is missing or incomplete. Please add to it, or discuss it at the Etymology scriptorium. Particularly: “origin?”)


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hot button (plural hot buttons)

  1. A central issue, concern or characteristic, especially one that motivates people to make a choice; sometimes also one that people seek to delay taking sides on.
    Coordinate terms: hot potato, third rail
    was a hot button
    • 2014, M. L. Buchman, Light Up the Night, →ISBN:
      That issue was mostly solved in the modern forces, but it was still a hot button for every student of modern military history.
  2. (marketing) The principal desire that a salesman needs to "hit" in order to make a sale.
  3. An emotional trigger; something that arouses strong emotion or opinions.
    • 2009, Gary Smalley, Ted Cunningham, From Anger to Intimacy Study Guide, →ISBN:
      Because when you recognize your main hot button, you can take the necessary steps to diffuse anger and reestablish connectedness in a healthy relationship.
    • 2014, Barbara McMahon, The Nanny and the Sheikh, →ISBN:
      “The sooner he gets rid of those children, the better it will be. He is too busy to be encumbered with orphans,” Delleah said. That struck Melissa's hot button. “

Related terms[edit]

See also[edit]


hot button (comparative more hot button, superlative most hot button)

  1. Alternative form of hot-button
    a hot button issue
    • 2012, S. Peacock, Stieg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy:
      In the course of the vast, sprawling, politically charged, sexually graphic, violent epic that is the Millennium trilogy, Larsson (who, as emails to his publisher revealed, painstakingly anatomised and utilised what he perceived as the 'hot button' elements of crime/thriller novels from writers he admired such as Val McDermid, thomas Harris and Sarah Paretsky) allows the reader — whether male or female — a surrogate, the disgraced middle-aged journalist Mikael Blomkvist.
    • 2013, Harvey L. Schantz, Politics in an Era of Divided Government, →ISBN:
      The parties also differed on gun control and other “hot button” issues.
    • 2013, Kenneth Manaster, The American Legal System and Civic Engagement, →ISBN:
      At a minimum, the diversion of attention from the opponents' main, economic motivation to the hot button death penalty question made it harder for voters to understand the true nature and extent of the justices' alleged failings in their judicial role.